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Using Ebola Funds To Pay For Zika Response Would Damage Global Health Security

U.S. News & World Report: Don’t Use Ebola Funds to Fight Zika
Laurie Garrett, senior fellow for global health, and Gabriella Meltzer, research associate for global health, both at the Council on Foreign Relations

“…[U.S. President Barack] Obama, who requested $1.9 billion in anti-Zika emergency supplemental funds last week, has asked to use some of the leftover Ebola funds but will rightly not divert all of it, as Republicans have suggested. Using Ebola-designated funds to combat Zika would devastate health care reconstruction in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea and severely damage the United States’ reputation as a leader in advancing the global health agenda. … Obama did not take from the AIDS relief program created by former President George W. Bush to pay for swine flu responses in 2009. Nor did Bush deprive any other health program to finance the emergency AIDS relief fund. Effective global health and catastrophic responses are not built by robbing Peter to pay Paul. Promises must be kept, or the foundations of health security will crumble. And a crumbling health security network is ultimately a threat to all” (3/1).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.